OK. you've just decided to go for your first balloon...with a company you met...ONLINE.
Did you know that there are several companies online that claim to offer balloon rides everywhere in the country, even in the Triangle. But, they do not!! They may have company names like Balloon Rides Over Raleigh, Bucketlistrides, Soaring Adventures, etc.. After they get your credit card information they will tell you that you'll be flying in Virginia, South Carolina or Charlotte. And, good luck getting your money back. No balloon company within 100 miles of the Triangle even accepts their coupons.
So, how can you tell the scammers from the real McCoy. Simple, you ask if the person you are speaking with is the actual pilot or family member of the pilot. Every local company is a private company, not a booking agent. Also, do your due diligence...check the Better Business Bureau. And don't give your credit card number to any balloon company until you have personally spoken with them. If you notice, there is no place on my website for you to put a credit card number. You must speak with me on the phone first.
You might also ask about experience. I have over 2500 balloon hours logged and over 2200 flights in 27 years. That's more than anyone else around who offers commercial balloon flights to the public. But, the good news is, I know all of the other area pilots and they are all top notch and reputable. I would have no problem recommending any of them to anyone.